This could be the last we've seen of Roy Jones Jr. (62-9, 45 KOs) in a boxing ring.
Enzo Maccarinelli (41-7, 33 KOs) dominated the famous 46-year-old prizefighter on Saturday night at the VTB Arena in Moscow. He notched two knockdowns in the fourth round, the second coming on a crushing overhand right to the temple that saw the former pound-for-pound king fall motionless to the mat.
The loss snapped an eight-fight win streak against mostly anonymous punchers for Jones. His last defeat also came via the knockout, courtesy of Denis Lebedev in May 2011.
Maccarinelli represented Jones' toughest opponent in several years, by far. A hard puncher with a weak chin, the British slugger's hands proved too quick and heavy for Jones, who looked nothing like the boxer that dominated the sport in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix immediately called for Jones' exit from fighting:
Chris Mannix @ChrisMannixYS
Someone has to make Roy Jones stop fighting. He steps up to even mediocre competition, like today, and he gets knocked out cold. Just stop.2015-12-12 20:42:51
Bad Left Hook pointed out Jones' inability to move around the ring:
Bad Left Hook @badlefthook
Jones has no legs to avoid shots anymore. He leans on the ropes all the time. Had loose ropes to lean back real far, too. Enzo drilled him.2015-12-12 20:45:34
Prior to the start of the bout, the Guardian's Bryan Armen Graham noted the strange sound of the Russian national anthem playing for Jones:
Bryan Armen Graham @BryanAGraham
The Russian national anthem is played for Roy Jones Jr., who became a Russian citizen in September. https://t.co/LLseu8Z5Zk2015-12-12 20:20:16
The first couple of rounds were easily in Maccarinelli's favor. He cut down Jones Jr.'s escape route with his length and movement, doing well to walk him onto the ropes and sneak combinations through the guard.
Jones Jr. still snuck his shots in, including a fantastic left hook-right uppercut combo late in the third. Still, he looked sluggish and slow, gulping air heavily after just a few minutes of fighting.
The bout wouldn't last much longer. Maccarinelli caught Jones on the chin with a devastating right uppercut in the fourth, drawing a brief count from the referee. Jones popped back into action quickly, but there was nothing left in this shell of a fighter. Maccarinelli abused him with a few more punches, and an overhand right finished him off.
Boxing commentator Corey Erdman commentated on the morbid atmosphere at the end of the bout:
Corey Erdman @corey_erdman
"And still with us...Roy Jones Jr.!" They actually just announced that. Aaaaand, he's still alive! That's what this has come to.2015-12-12 20:43:36
Laceup Boxing pointed out just how far the mighty had fallen:
Roy Jones went from literally never getting hit to getting hit all the time, From the fastest fighter I ever saw to one of the slowest...2015-12-12 20:46:31
After the poor display against Maccarinelli, it's quite clearly in Jones' best interest to quit fighting. It's been over 10 years since Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson shocked him with back-to-back knockouts, five since he fought and lost to another ageless prizefighter in Bernard Hopkins.
It would seem all but impossible that anyone would give Jones the cruiserweight title fight he so fervently desires. Maccarinelli himself is much closer to getting any kind of title shot.
Jones told Brin-Jonathan Butler in a piece for Bleacher Report that if he stepped away, there would "be relief for my wife and family."
Truth be told, there would relief for far more people than those in his family. Boxing fans who still come out to see him are fueled by deep-seated nostalgia, but enough is enough for the former pound-for-pound king.
He's one of the sports all-time greats. A cruiserweight title wouldn't cement his legacy, but finding the strength to hang up the gloves when it really makes sense just might.